Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

'22 Jump Street' directors wanted a sequel that's actually good

Premiere Of Columbia Pictures' "22 Jump Street" - Arrivals

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Actors Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill attend the Premiere Of Columbia Pictures' "22 Jump Street" at Regency Village Theatre on June 10, 2014 in Westwood.

It’s extremely unlikely that Hollywood will abandon its addiction to sequels and remakes anytime soon — but just because the movie business is obsessed with regurgitation doesn’t mean the resulting productions have to be as cynical as the thinking behind them.

Critics say the two big sequels opening this weekend — “How to Train Your Dragon 2” and “22 Jump Street” — are not only among the best big-studio movies of the year so far, but also might be better than the first films in their franchises.

RELATED: Filmweek: 22 Jump Street, How to Train Your Dragon 2, The Rover and more

22 Jump Street trailer

“22 Jump Street” was directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller. The pair have a knack for taking what sound like Hollywood’s most recognizably marketing-driven ideas and creating movies that are both well-reviewed (“22 Jump Street” has a Rotten Tomatoes average of 84 percent) and hugely popular (“The Lego Movie" grossed $462 million worldwide and "21 Jump Street" took in $201 million around the globe).

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World Cup 2014: Where's the Great American Soccer Movie?

Disney

A screencap from Disney's "Air Bud: World Pup."

Soccer is a genuine universal sport and the passion of its fans is indisputable. Yet for all of its popularity, rabid supporters, stunning athleticism and movie-star-esque players like Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham,  Hollywood has failed to make a single great soccer movie.

  • There are fantastic and Oscar-winning boxing films: “Rocky” and “Raging Bull.”
  • If you lean toward baseball, you’ve got “Field of Dreams,” “The Natural” and “Bull Durham.”
  • Hockey has “Slap Shot” and “Miracle.”
  • There are even landmark movies about high school basketball (“Hoosiers”), long distance running (“Chariots of Fire”), billiards (“The Hustler”), cycling (“Breaking Away”) and, in a classic comedy, golf (“Caddyshack”).

But when the focus is soccer, the movie business hasn’t been able to make a critically acclaimed film that is also a hit with moviegoers.

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New Grammys rules include allowing samples in Song of the Year

56th GRAMMY Awards - Show

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Musicians Kirk Hammett of Metallica (L) and Lang Lang perform onstage during the 56th Grammy Awards at Staples Center on Jan. 26, 2014 in Los Angeles.

The Recording Academy announced a number of rules changes for future Grammy Awards on Thursday, including allowing samples to be used in songs included in songwriting categories like Song of the Year.

"This year's changes to our Awards process are thoughtful, inclusive, and reflective of the current musical landscape," said Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow in a statement.

The addition of sampling is a sign of the changing face of music, with samples included in a variety of genres — the Grammys had previously only allowed samples in the best rap song category. The Academy's Bill Freimuth tells KPCC that he thinks it will have an impact on some of the major Grammys categories.

"What I think the change is going to do, is eliminate a lot of the head-scratching as to why some very big, popular recordings, songs, were not showing up in the nominations," Freimuth said. "For something like Song of the Year or Best R&B, or Best Rock Song …  our ballot will feel a little bit more complete because all of these will now be included."

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Harrison Ford in hospital after injuring ankle on 'Star Wars: Episode VII' shoot

Film Five Most

20th Century-Fox Film Corporation/AP

File: This file publicity image provided by 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation shows Harrison Ford, as Han Solo, Carrie Fisher, as Princess Leia Organa, and Mark Hamill, as Luke Skywalker. in a scene from the 1977 "Star Wars."

Harrison Ford injured his ankle while shooting "Star Wars: Episode VII," but shooting is scheduled to proceed as planned during his recovery, according to the Hollywood Reporter, citing a statement from Disney.

"Harrison Ford sustained an ankle injury during filming today on the set of Star Wars: Episode VII," the statement said. "He was taken to a local hospital and is receiving care. Shooting will continue as planned while he recuperates."

RELATED: 'Star Wars: Episode VII': JJ Abrams' Millennium Falcon tweet and the Mystery Box

Ford is reprising his iconic role as Han Solo in the new Star Wars film, though little is known about the plot of the new film. Other stars of the original films are back, including Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew and more.

The film's new cast includes Lupita Nyong'o, Andy Serkis, Adam Driver and Max von Sydow.

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Marvel announces director Peyton Reed to direct 'Ant-Man,' Adam McKay to write following Edgar Wright exit

Marvel

Ant-Man seen in an image tweeted by Marvel.

Marvel announced Saturday that Peyton Reed will direct "Ant-Man," following writer/director Edgar Wright's high-profile exit. This piece in the Marvel cinematic universe strategy is still scheduled to be released July 17 of next year.

Marvel Peyton Reed tweet

They've also announced new writer Adam McKay to make changes Marvel is seeking to the script written by Wright and Joe Cornish.

RELATED: Edgar Wright quits 'Ant-Man'; here's what it would have looked like

Reed previously directed movies including "Bring It On," "The Break-Up" and "Yes Man," as well as TV shows including "New Girl," "Mr. Show," "Upright Citizens Brigade" and more. He's also attached to direct the upcoming movie "The Fifth Beatle," based on the Dark Horse graphic novel.

McKay came to prominence as head writer of "Saturday Night Live" and as the writer/director of movies including "Anchorman," "Talladega Nights," "Step Brothers" and "The Other Guys."

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